How localization can help retailers boost growth and relevance

Retailers face a difficult combination of multiple market forces, including an accelerated pace for innovation, increased competition, and empowered customers . It’s crucial that retailers provide customers with the right products at the right place and time to help them grow.

Retailers can concentrate on localizing product offerings to improve relevance and increase revenue. Clustering stores that are similar in terms of sales and customer data is key to successful localization. This includes customer buying patterns, local weather, store sizes, and other data.

Once you have identified store clusters, this analysis can be used to create localized store assortments that are more in line with customer needs.

Use Data to Drive Growth & Stay Relevant

These are three things that retailers can do in order to customize product offerings to increase sales and relevancy.

1. Use the data you already have to support you.

You must first get to know your data before you can use it to grow your business. Analyze the customer and product data you have. You’ll be able to gain valuable insights by running both simple and complex cluster analyses of that data.

These analyses can be used to identify the most important product attributes for each persona and store cluster. Once you have narrowed down which attributes are most important to each cluster, you can use this data to stock the inventory that you know will sell well.

2. Maintain an organized system.

Many retailers still use a chaotic mix of tools and processes to manage product attributes. Conflicting or incomplete product data can lead to limited analysis possibilities and takes a lot of time to validate, aggregate and complete. Poor customer experiences can have a direct negative impact on revenue due to errors or inaccuracies in customer data.

Data enrichment (or product information management) solutions make managing product data simpler by providing central governance rules and automated workflows that ensure accuracy. Next-generation PIM solutions that work with digital and brick-and mortar ecosystems improve productivity and keep product data clean. They lock down the attributes that users can choose for products, validate that different attributes have been provided, and ensure that all attributes are complete.

Select a data enrichment tool or PIM to support future growth. It will allow users to add and modify attributes as necessary.

3. Personalize your experiences and localize selections

After you have completed your store and persona cluster analyses, and collected rich product data, it is possible to create localized assortment plans that meet the needs of your customers. You should look for a tool that allows you to quickly create, modify and approve assortment plans.

You should also be able to validate that the attributes of an assortment plan match the attributes relevant to your store, persona clusters, or other factors. This will allow you to adjust your stocking plans for the products.

Localization is a key focus. You need the right tools to provide insight and data accuracy so you can better understand your customers. A powerful solution is needed to translate these insights into localized product offerings. This will help you increase sales and satisfy your customers.

Retailers Prepare for Hurricane Irma: Potential $1.45B Sales Drops

Retailers will be in serious trouble by Hurricane Irma. It is the strongest storm to hit the Atlantic Ocean since records began.

Planalytics , a business weather intelligence provider , assessed Irma’s economic impact and estimated that lost retail sales could amount to $1.45 billion due to the storm.

Planalytics says that Irma could be more destructive than Hurricane Harvey which devastated Houston last month. Florida declared a state emergency. Some areas such as the Florida Keys or the Miami-Dade are currently being evacuated.

Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane, but the flooding caused most of the damage. Irma is both a bigger storm and a stronger storm. This means that storm surge and high winds will cause more damage. The population of Florida, which includes Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, is three times that of Harvey. Irma is also threatening Southeast markets like Columbia, S.C. Charleston, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C.

According to Planalytics most retailers located in the path of Hurricane Irma are in “execution mode” and have their plans in place. Most cases, supply chain professionals and inventory managers are working hard to meet customer demand and ensure product availability after and during the storm.

“Retailers should make it their priority to plan for store closings and ensure that staff have an evacuation plan,” stated Tushar Patel (chief marketing officer at Kibo), an omnichannel commerce platform provider. Retailers should also communicate their closure plans clearly to the community in order to help them plan ahead and be prepared. Offer extended hours if possible, and don’t put staff in danger. Once the stores close, move inventory to safer locations.

Patel suggested that retailers open pop-up shops in larger retail locations that were not impacted by the storm to offer consumers immediate products while their communities rebuild.

He said that the advantage of the omnichannel retail environment is that retailers don’t have to close down a channel because of natural disasters such as Harvey or Irma. “They can use digital networks to serve their physical networks best and continue to offer their clients the items they need to recover from the storm.”

Retailers are not in bad shape during Hurricane Irma. The storm threat is increasing traffic to home improvement centers, grocery shops, mass merchants/warehouse club, gas stations/convenience store, and grocery stores. Stage Stores (26%), West Marine (18%), Bloomin’ brands (15%), Stein Mart (13%), and BJ’s Wholesale Club (13%).

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